“Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” Luke 18:17 ESV It was her 2nd birthday. She was donned in a bright white floral print little girl’s dress with little bloomers beneath, her hair in its natural waves above her shoulders, waiting for her two separate birthday parties to commemorate the big day. I called out Happy Birthday!, but she was too busy with little-girl-on-a-sunny-September-day-outdoor matters, her attention not focused on anything in particular, no concerns upon her little girl’s heart, untouched by life’s cares as only children can be, enjoying the moment-by-moment life of a 2-year-old still so new to life. Until all of a sudden she twirled upward and darted off at high, still wobbly speed…

“King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter…They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been…So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord; he did not follow the Lord completely, as David his father had done. On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for…

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 I know lots about loss. I’ve lost lots. Lots of people. Lots of loved ones. Lots of family. Lots of relationships. Lots of marriages. Lots of friends. Sometimes I feel like my life has been more about loss than anything else. But then I open my heart and eyes and see the truth. My life more than anything has been about learning how to let go of holding onto this world for dear life and learning how to believe in and follow and hold on for dear life to the Lord Jesus Christ and in and through His love to learn to love others the way He desires and to…

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 “Do you have time for me?” a little boy asked his sweet, beautiful grandmother one day. “What do you mean?” she said, puzzled. “You’re looking at your watch,” the boy remarked. The boy, who had had a tumultuous, tragic, and trying life thus far when it came to loved ones, relied deeply on his grandmother for love to fill the big gaps and holes where love had been missing in his little life thus far. How remarkable, and sad, for a boy so young to be so sensitive about big people’s watches – and big people’s love. This is a true story. The grandmother is a beloved friend whom God chose…

“In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust…” Psalm 31:1 God speaks by His Spirit to His kids but ONLY and ALWAYS in line with the Bible. If it doesn’t line up with the Bible, it’s not from Him! I believe the Lord spoke this to my heart one morning. Do you believe this message is also for you? “How can I please you today?” I asked the Lord one morning. “By listening,” I sensed the Holy Spirit speak to my heart. Then He continued.    “You have been looking and looking for what to do [with something specific in my life that has weighed heavily on my heart for a long time].    Trust waits.    Trust believes.    Trust hopes.    Trust perseveres.    Trust places itself in…

 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6 Paralyzed dogs Mr. Simeon and Miss Mercy have chronic medical issues and a chronic need for extra love, compassion, mercy, healing, and care. Glory, who has no eyes, can’t find her food, water, or go outdoors  without me to guide her. They place their trust in me to provide what they need, and despite how far short I fall with love and patience, they turn to me continually to have their needs met. They love me exceedingly in return. They know, and believe, nobody but me will give them…

Paralyzed dogs Mr. Simeon and Miss Mercy have their wheels, and thank God I have mine also. However, as my Honda Element’s mileage is at about 230,000, and as I have started ministering on death row out of town, another prison’s doors may be opening to my ministering there, I am feeling strongly led by God to begin traveling more to do streets ministry, speak at churches, and distribute my books, Gospel tracts and devotionals, and as I have a sense I may be taking trips from South Carolina to the DC area, and wherever the Lord might lead me, I believe it is time to start seeking a replacement car and/or a new addition. I devote my life 24-7 to the Lord and ministry, live on a very low…

Several years ago, I wrote and published one of my six books. It is called THE GREATEST LESSON OF ALL: Answering God’s Call, a book based on the Bible’s book of Jonah. Sadly, as with all my other books, virtually nobody expressed any interest in it. Sure, I do virtually no marketing, promotion, or publicity. I don’t have the budget, skills, talent, gift, desire, or leading at least thus far. I pray and wait – and wait. I figure I’ll learn to trust the Lord to distribute the books for me. So far, so very few people have read them. Even friends have not helped to get the word out. How very insignificant I feel sometimes. Sure it’s humbling in a good way. It’s also hard, really hard, since I pour…

“The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms:” Deut. 33:27 I’m going to tell you a secret about my teddy bear. Okay, it’s not a secret entirely. A few people knew this long ago, but most people have no idea. This isn’t exactly the kind of thing one goes telling the world. Except in my case. For I’ve learned in my transparency and in God’s love, grace, mercy, and majesty, He can reach others – and me – with a message. So it’s my hope He will do so when I share my secret about my teddy bear. In my 20s, when I finally started addressing my history of childhood sexual abuse, I broke into a million pieces. I became unable to function and was sideswiped…

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.” John 12:24-26 esv I have been to countless churches, and if anything stands out about how the leadership and congregants at so many viewed serving God, it is that if they encouraged people to serve God at all, they suggested that people figure out their gifts and talents, consider the church programs, and determine where…

How’s Your Reputation? So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 1 Thessalonians 1:7-9   What was the reputation of the Thessalonians when the apostle Paul wrote them? How were they known even from far? By their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ! People saw and heard of their faith. They had a reputation of faith. They were examples…

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” James 4:7 My ministry’s beautiful English coonhound perfectly healthy dog Esther whom I have tried to adopt out for several years unsuccessfully stood hunkered down like she would vomit, a little drool coming from her mouth, refusing to eat the food I had just brought her despite her usual way of gobbling everything up. I had been feeding the ministry’s dogs and knew I would now have to juggle cleaning up vomit while finishing the feeding. But something strange happened. She never vomited, and she became frozen in the hunkered down position for…

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” Phil. 1:6 I am the kind of person who when I take things apart cannot for the life of me figure out how to put them back together no matter how hard I try to pay attention to how they came apart. And no matter how many times I take the same thing apart and either get help putting it back together again or somehow manage to figure it out on my own after a great deal of stress, complaining, and ultimately, repentance mind you for my poor attitude, impatience, and temper, the same thing happens again. I’m stuck looking at the very same parts…

“Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers.They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.” John 4:39-42 ESV If you’ve heard the story of the Samaritan woman at the well whom Jesus asked if she would give Him some well water only to then offer her the living waters of the Spirit of God, and whom Jesus shocked by declaring He knew…

“…God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:5-9 I was convinced as a kid when I played hide-and-go-seek if I squished my eyes tightly shut so I couldn’t see any light from…

Guidance from God – Please Be Careful! “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” 1 Jn. 4:1 “Okay, everyone,” the instructor for an addiction recovery weekend seminar so much as told the class. “Take out your pens and paper and listen for guidance from god. Write down what he tells you. We’ll have a discussion afterward.” The seminar had nothing to do with God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Bible; it had everything to do with “god.” The attendees grew silent. I was excited. I had high expectations for a wonderful “spiritual” getaway in which I would learn lots about God and recovery. After a little while, the instructor told us…

“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.” Psalm 42:1 “Thank you Lord for Lara whose love for you is contagious,” a friend said as she prayed for me one day. I lost track of what she prayed next, though God of course didn’t, as I teared up hearing the words she had prayed. Though I am exceeding beyond description in loving and living for and serving the Lord as I zealously pursue Him and my life’s calling to help people become and remain forever followers of the Lord Jesus Christ,  I am not sure I had ever considered I might be “contagious” – let alone “highly contagious.” Isn’t being “contagious” about having a sickness, illness, or disease that can be given…

   “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Mt. 16:24 If you’re looking for a yummy, delicious, soothingly comfortable,  quick-style, easy-of-course, no-dishes-to-wash-after, drive-through happily blissful life, cheap to boot, I wouldn’t recommend becoming a rock solid, sold out, utterly devoted, passionately, unreservedly, unabashedly, on-fire committed forever follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. When I drove by the latest billboard for a world renowned fast-food restaurant chain, I didn’t exactly think of sizzling, juicy hot, pure beef burgers & not exactly-fat-free fries. All I could think was there was a message in this for this fast food, drive-through, happily-ever-after-or-so-the-world-promises-anyway world in which we live. The human flesh LOVES quick and easy, satisfy-me-now, fulfill-my-lusts,…

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Mt. 5:16    “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” 1 Cor. 9:27 “My husband and I don’t like how you’ve been talking to us,” a beautiful young woman told me one evening as we stood on her porch. My apology was immediate. “I am so sorry!” I exclaimed. “I am so thankful for your honesty. It gives me the opportunity to ask for forgiveness and make the changes I need to,” I gushed. I am guessing she was taken somewhat aback by how quickly and vehemently…

“And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.” Mt. 14:23 “Maybe you need to come apart,” a friend essentially said on the phone. “I don’t know, Lara. When God wants me to do something, it’s very clear to me. If you’re not hearing clearly, maybe you have to come apart.” I had been sharing with him by telephone my exceeding yearning to be in God’s will, specifically in serving Him. What did He want me to do next? Though my plate was full, I had a sense there was something more, maybe different, maybe new, maybe more of the same, but something. My friend’s counsel? Come apart? Though my friend was…

 “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” Ephesians 5:2 “You’re facing a lot of obstacles right now,” the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart one day as I listened for His voice which always speaks in line with His Word. I know to test all I believe I hear against the Bible because God will never speak against His own Word. If what I hear is from Him, His Word will back it up. I knew I was hearing from God; the Bible from start to finish is filled with obstacles humans face as God teaches us to turn to Him in all things…

   “Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.” Mt. 18:27    “Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?” Mt. 18:33    “And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.” Mt. 18:34-35 (underlining added)     The Holy Spirit led me to verses in the middle of one night and opened my heart to see what I had never seen in them before. He would take me to a…

Why I Left Alcoholics Anonymous “…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6     “Your ex-husband’s AA friends are planning a prayer meeting for him,” my ex-husband’s long-time friend said as we sat in the hospital ICU waiting room where my ex-husband lay in a medically induced coma due to a chronic lung disease compounded by a life-threatening prescription pill addiction. “We’ll join hands in a circle and pray for his healing.” As a former long-time, zealous, sold out member of AA who lived, breathed, and preached the 12 steps before God woke me up to the truth, led me to repentance, delivered and freed me, I didn’t welcome this news. “Who will you pray to?” I said.…

“Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore.” Psalm 105:4 “I will give you strength to do what I’ve called you to do,” the Spirit of God essentially spoke to my heart one morning. “I will not give you strength for what I’ve not called you to do. Use the strength wisely,” He admonished me. I knew immediately what He meant. And, for the umpteenth time, I believed the message He had given me was for others as well. People ask me periodically how I lead a ministry as an evangelist and an author dedicated 24-7 to the Lord and ministry with a big group of special needs and senior rescued dogs in my ministry’s care, doing everything from writing, publishing, and streets ministry and ministering…

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Rom. 3:23 The strong, muscular man, just cleaned up and dried off from washing up, his skin still bristling with dew-like water drops, stuck one of his big hands through the slat and reached out to grab hold of one of my small wrinkled hands to tuck it firmly, safely, gently inside its warmth. Then  he extended his other hand through the slat to press lovingly into its fold the hand of the trim, athletic man beside me who had just months before had significant surgery and in the past few days driven over 26 hours to rush to the side of a dying loved one to encourage him before it was too late to surrender his life…

I don’t ask for support very often these days, but I do my best to be faithful to the Lord and what I believe He places on my heart. Such is the case with coming before you today to ask if you would sponsor me. For those who don’t know me well, I devote my life 24-7 to the Lord and ministry as an evangelist & author living and breathing to love and glorify God and to help people become and remain forever followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. And I care for a big bunch of special needs & senior rescued dogs God uses to introduce me to people to hear about Him. I live on a very low personal income, have a bare-bones ministry budget, and have no…

   “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:” 1 Peter 1:17    “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he…

The Big “F” Word    “…open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.” Psalm 81:10    “And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.” Psalm 41:3 I had one of the dirtiest mouths imaginable. I thought I was cool. Instead I was bound. The “f” word was a regular for me. The hardness of my filthy words reflected my despicably wicked hardened heart and my sin-ridden life. Little did I know God would draw me by His Spirit to Himself, save me through His precious Son Jesus, sweep me off my feet into a gloriously loving relationship with Him, and give me a new “f” word. F is for freedom.…

   “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing…” Isaiah 35:1-2 When the Lord brought back into my life a woman I had met years earlier and known back then only a short while, she was just like a crushed flower. Have you ever seen a crushed flower, trampled underfoot, beaten down by the storms of life, soaked by the rain, no longer sturdy, crestfallen, its petals lilting so low the breath of a baby would knock down its last vestiges, but with a beauty so untold, so unspoken, so unsung, so present, that you can’t help but see how lovely…

    “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom…” Proverbs 9:10    “The fear of man bringeth a snare…” Proverbs 29:5 “You are more concerned with what they think of you than with what I wanted you to do,” the Lord spoke to my heart in the middle of the night one time. The last thing I wanted was to be up at 3:30 am, especially when I had a big day in ministry ahead. But there I was, pacing in my prayer room as I prayed, half asleep, half awake – awake enough to hear His admonishment. Then I rushed off to my computer. This time, I surmised, His admonishment – and message – were not just for me. What about you? Though…

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